The BMW R90S, launched in early 1973, changed the general perception of the era that BMW's were unexciting. The first production motorcycle to feature a factory-fitted fairing as standard equipment to make it stand out. Early examples cam in smoke black, and for '76 there was the Daytona Orange. The BMW R90S Daytona Orange even came with hand-painted pinstriping.
The BMW R90S engine was based on the R90/6 touring model, now with a five-speed gearbox. The BMW R90S had higher compression pistons and 38mm Dell'Orto carburetors to crank out its, for that time amazing 67 horsepower.
Also setting the BMW R90S apart were the twin 260mm disc brakes, even if the floating single-piston brake calipers lacked ultimate power. With its shaft drive and long travel suspension, the BMW R90S lacked the precision of its Italian rivals, but made up for it with civility, including practical features like a clock and an ampmeter. But it was on the road that the BMW R90S excelled.
The BMW R90S was a genuinely fast motorcycle, capable of 200km/h. BMW's first and arguably its best superbike, the BMW R90S was expensive, but it was fast, reliable and comfortable, and it handled well, too.